Kuwait bans flights to coronavirus ‘high risk’ countries

Above, Filipinos wait for their flight home at the Kuwait International Airport on April 3, 2020. The Gulf nation banned commercial flights to several countries including the Philippines on coronavirus transmission fears. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 01 August 2020

Kuwait bans flights to coronavirus ‘high risk’ countries

  • Countries include India, Pakistan, Egypt, the Philippines, Lebanon and Sri Lanka

DUBAI: Kuwait has banned until further notice commercial flights to 31 countries it said that it regarded as high risk due to the spread of the coronavirus, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said on Saturday.

The countries include India, Pakistan, Egypt, the Philippines, Lebanon and Sri Lanka, which all have large numbers of expatriates in Kuwait. The list also includes China, Iran, Brazil, Mexico, Italy and Iraq.

The ban was announced the same day Kuwait began a partial resumption of commercial flights. The authorities have said Kuwait International Airport would run at about 30% capacity from Saturday, gradually increasing in coming months. Egyptian national carrier EgyptAir also announced it would halt flights to the Gulf country.

Kuwait, which has recorded nearly 67,000 coronavirus cases and more than 400 deaths, began a five-phase plan at the start of June to gradually lift restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the virus. A partial curfew remains in place.


Lebanon’s Kataeb Party says its three MPs resigning from parliament

Updated 5 min 39 sec ago

Lebanon’s Kataeb Party says its three MPs resigning from parliament

  • ‘The Kataeb MPs have decided ... to move to confrontation for the sake of a free, sovereign, independent Lebanon’

DUBAI: Lebanon’s Kataeb Party, a Christian group which opposes the government backed by the Iran-backed Hezbollah, announced on Saturday the resignation of its three lawmakers from parliament.
The decision was announced by party chief Samy Gemayel during the funeral of a leading member of the group who died in the catastrophic explosion at the port of Beirut on Tuesday, which destroyed parts of the Lebanese capital.
“The Kataeb MPs have decided ... to move to confrontation for the sake of a free, sovereign, independent Lebanon,” he said. “I invite all honorable (lawmakers) to resign so that the people can decide who will govern them, without anybody imposing anything to them.”
Hezbollah, the only group which has kept its weapons since Lebanon’s 1975-90 civil war, and its allies hold a majority in the current 128-seat parliament, elected in 2018.